Responses to the Deferred Action Program
Under the Obama Administration, the Deferred Action program was issued in June of 2012 with the intention of providing more legal flexibility and protection over illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. The program is designed to defer removal action against people if they do not pose a threat to national security. The program covers accepted candidates for two years and is subject to renewal. Though renewing deferred action is possible, no one is guaranteed continued coverage.
According to multiple Latino news outlets, from August of 2012 to June of 2013 about 400,500 out of 538,000 deferred action applicants were accepted for coverage. After being accepted to the deferred action program the candidate is able to obtain legal documentation for employment. Despite majority of cases that are accepted, the Brookings Institute projects that nearly twice the amount of people that apply for coverage are eligible. Factors like the $465 application fee, lack of proof of documentation, and misinformation about the program keep people from applying and receiving coverage. In order to apply, the candidate must provide documentation from their previous country and often times, locating and obtaining that documentation can be nearly impossible.
Deferred Action was created in order to offer an alternative to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act since its legislation was stalled in Congress. According to the website of the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, unlike the DREAM Act, deferred action does not lead to citizenship; it is merely a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation. Since they are one of the fastest growing and most culturally influential groups in the United States, Latinos view deferred action as a temporary solution.